One of the most deadly challenges for leaders are blindspots. Everyone has them. The worst leaders don’t realize it, while the best are constantly on guard because they know how deadly those blindspots can be. For some, it’s being stuck in a unproductive way of thinking. For others, it may be staying blind to the poor performance of a friend who works for you. For still others, it may be living in denial of your own talents and abilities.
I’ve seen pastors whose church membership is dramatically declining, and yet they are still stuck in the thinking they used 20 years ago. I’ve also seen business leaders whose blindness about their own weak spots has created a lid they’re never going to grown beyond.
It doesn’t really matter what your blindspot is – what’s important is that you find it and fix it. Years ago, I was stuck in a certain way of producing TV programs and documentaries. But by the grace of God I had enough honesty about my ability to see that I wasn’t keeping up with changing styles. So I surrounded myself with a talented young team and empowered them to push me in new directions.
How do you find your blindspots?
First – empower the people around you to be respectful, but honest. You’ll never discover your blind spots surrounded by “yes” men or women.
Second – be honest about yourself, because too many leaders live in denial. Insecurity can destroy leaders, so be generous when it comes to other people, but we ruthless when it comes to yourself.
Then – when you realize what they are, encourage others to keep you alert. Blindspots have a way of coming back because they’re often created by our own past, our upbringing, or our personality. Through treatment, addicts can overcome their drug use, but they never stop being aware of situations that may cause that addiction to rear its ugly head.
And if you don’t think you have any blindspots, then you probably do, because that’s how they work. We call them blindspots because just like the oncoming car in our side mirrors, we don’t see it until it’s too late. Start looking today, because once you discover them and start dealing with the problem, your effectiveness as a leader will be transformed.